We’ve reached the finals in almost all formats making this the best time of the year in fantasy hockey. That’s if you’re still in, of course. I will continue the weekly previews that I’ve been doing over the last few weeks to provide some strategy and planning ahead in regards to streaming. Again, this is meant to be a compliment to the Playoff Manifesto, not a replacement, so be sure to check that out as well here. Let’s get to it!
Monday’s Games – BUF @ NJ, PIT @ NYR, FLA @ TOR, BOS @ TB, VGK @ STL, DAL @ WIN, NSH @ MIN, LA @ CAL, DET @ SJ
Tuesday’s Games – CAR @ WSH, NYI @ CBJ, FLA @ MON, BUF @ OTT, LA @ EDM, ANA @ VAN, CHI @ ARZ
Wednesday’s Games – TOR @ PHI, NYR @ BOS, DAL @ CAL, VGK @ COL
Thursday’s Games – DET @ BUF, WSH @ CAR, MON @ CBJ, FLA @ OTT, NYI @ WIN, DAL @ EDM, LA @ VAN, CHI @ SJ
Friday’s Games – STL @ NYR, NSH @ PIT, NJ @ DET, ANA @ CAL, ARZ @ COL, MIN @ VGK
Saturday’s Games – FLA @ BOS, PHI @ CAR, STL @ NJ, BUF @ NYI, TOR @ OTT, WSH @ TB, MON @ WIN, CBJ @ NSH, VGK @ SJ, ANA @ EDM, DAL @ VAN, CHI @ LA
Sunday’s Games – NYR @ PHI, CAR @ PIT, MIN @ ARZ, CBJ @ BUF, BOS @ DET, CAL @ SJ (Note, Calgary plays 4/1 against LA)
Buffalo’s schedule is remarkable. There’s only one light day this week, and even though they don’t play on it, it’s not a concern. They are the only team with five games, including two back-to-backs, one to open the week and one to close it. Sure, they’re playing poorly right now, but they will be clear favorites in the first three games. Sam Reinhart has had a rough stretch but I expect him to get back on track here. If he was dropped in your league, he’d be my first choice. I would also give Alex Nylander a shot as well. He’s looked very good since his recall and I wouldn’t be surprised to see his role continue to increase. I’m a bit torn on the two goalies because of how bad the defense has been, and to be fair, they haven’t been good either. That said, the matchups are pretty great so I’m fine with using whoever gets the nod.
With Wednesday being a light day, we’d like to stream guys on that day while getting a back-to-back. That leaves only Dallas, who gets three games in four nights starting Monday. Alternatively, it’s three in four nights if you start Wednesday, so either way, you’re a winner. Roope Hintz is the clear choice right now. Mattias Janmark has also been skating with Seguin and Radulov putting him firmly in play as well.
Tampa Bay and Colorado only play two games each. That means there is no holding onto anyone remotely close to the fringe. Point, Kucherov, Stamkos, Hedman, and Vasilevskiy are it for Tampa, while it’s MacKinnon, Rantanen, and Barrie for Colorado. Even Mikko Rantanen is debatable if he doesn’t play Tuesday. He has a chance, so don’t make a move yet.
Detroit is the only team who plays Thursday-Friday this week. While Detroit is quite terrible, those games are against Buffalo and New Jersey respectively, giving them a chance to do some damage. I’ve been driving the Andreas Athanasiou bandwagon all year and I see no reason to stop now. Athanasiou, Anthony Mantha, and Thomas Vanek are the logical choices.
Of the 12 teams that play on Sunday, seven of them will either be closing a back-to-back or starting it. If you are down in goalie categories, you very well may have to turn to a backup goalie in this spot. It’s too early to say for sure, but with 11 teams playing either Friday-Saturday or Saturday-Sunday, I suspect that we’re going to see even more backups than usual this time of the year. I would say that Bob is the only goalie is who somewhat likely to start both of his teams’ games in their back-to-backs.
Michael Frolik (4.2%) – Frolik has 6 points in his last 5 games and gets a prime matchup with the Kings. The Flames should skate circles around them.
Alexander Nylander (0.6%) – Talked about Nylander above. Getting the second game Tuesday is a bonus.
Brendan Lemieux (0.8%) – If you want to try and get an early lead in PIM while having some hope for offensive contribution, Lemieux seems to be the best target.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Wednesday recapping the action from the last two nights. As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below. Thanks for reading, take care!